Underappreciated Artists: The Rembrandts

15th July 2015 2 comments

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It’s a bit of a shame that the song The Rembrandts are best known for is I’ll Be There For You. Sure, it’s a fun song, but it’s also something of an anomaly when compared to the rest of their catalog. Those familiar with The Rembrandts know that members Danny Wilde and Phil Solem take their work seriously; something reflected in each song. What I’ll Be There For You doesn’t showcase, catchy hooks notwithstanding, is their effortless ability to tell a heartbreaking story within the confines of a three-minute pop tune. In Johnny Have You Seen Her from 1992’s Untitled Wilde sings:

If you could look inside this tortured heart of mine
You would see the pain I’m goin’ through
Can you look me in the eyes and tell if I am blind?
Maybe then I might believe you

The heartbreak is audible on Happiness from 2001 release Lost Together.

Life goes on….at least that’s what they say
Though dreams may die…they never fade away
Yesterday is gone forever-Would you trade tomorrow for today
I had given up all hope, of ever feeling like I had
In the days of our perfection, before everything went bad
When I think of all those heart aches…it amazes me, no end
We could rise to this occasion…find our happiness again
Locked in time…together in the past
Our innocence…was never meant to last
So we share our final sunset…and we go our separate ways
I had given up all hope, of ever feeling like I had
In the days of our perfection-before everything went bad
When I think of all those heart aches…it amazes me, no end
We could rise to this occasion…find our happiness again
Find our happiness again
Find our happiness again

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Belonging to a unique class which holds content in high regard, The Rembrandts are adept at weaving longing and melancholy into instantly memorable songs, much like the Gin Blossoms, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Marshall Crenshaw, and Ben Folds. True storytellers write the songs that speak to the masses; they write the songs people turn to during the most important moments. Songs such as Save Me from the duo’s eponymous 1990 debut speak of the loneliness and despondency everyone feels at some point:
I’m all alone, when the sun, goes down
What I wouldn’t give, to have someone around.
The nights are endless, and dreams, are few
But when they come, well they never come true

The songs we’ve cited are a few of our favorites and may give the impression that The Rembrandts are brooding all the time and it’s true that they take their work seriously. Thankfully they don’t take themselves terribly seriously. You may recall the video for I’ll Be There For You which saw Solem and Wilde’s rock star video shoot being invaded by the cast of Friends. Most recently and in the same spirit, the pair teamed up with James Michael Tyler (aka Gunther) from Friends to film a new video for the theme song to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the series and announce its arrival on Netflix. While many artists in a similar situation would shun so much attention for a one-off, uncharacteristic song, Wilde and Solem seem to embrace their place in pop culture history and play along with the lighthearted intentions of the song- even after all these years. Such playfulness seems to indicate that even with multi-platinum sales and a Grammy nod, both of which have found their way to the band, ultimately everything Phil Solem and Danny Wilde do is about the music and sharing it with as many people as possible.

Delve into The Rembrandts extensive catalog and get exclusive versions of some of their songs available for free download on the band’s official website

Keep up with their most recent tour dates HERE

The Rembrandts are great at interacting on social media! Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Now onto some music…

***For some interesting info on how The Rembrandts came to be involved with ‘Friends‘ and the origin of I’ll Be There For You, check out this great feature at AV Club



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